Event Details

Organization Name: Westben Arts Festival Theatre Inc.
Organization Description:

Westben Arts Festival Theatre Inc. was founded in 1999 to create, enrich and integrate communities of professionals and amateurs of all ages in world class music projects in unique settings. For 24 years Westben has been about bringing people together through music, experiencing it in a natural setting. Located in Trenton Hills in Northumberland County, near Campbellford, Westben’s original performance venue is a custom-built, timber-frame barn. The Barn seats 400 and combines state-of-the-art acoustics with a rustic yet sophisticated atmosphere. Performances at Westben’s open air summer festival range from Bach to Broadway, opera and symphony to jazz, folk, fiddle, Indigenous, rock and comedy. Westben offers interactive One-of-a-Kind Experiences with music and nature in the neighbouring Nature Reserve. Pre-Covid the Dare to Pair series featured local chefs, sommeliers, story tellers and musicians on site before the concerts. Westben’s Digital programs include concerts, podcasts, musical moments and more, available on Westben’s YouTube Channel and the new www.WestbenDigitalvenue.ca. Westben’s International Performer-Composer Residency is an international gathering of creative risk-takers whose practice involves some combination of both composition and performance. These 50 artists from around the world collaborate for a month digitally creating new works and host public workshops. In addition, Westben’s year-round activities include educational initiatives such as in-school presentations, master classes and the 45-member Westben Festival Chorus, which performs at various venues throughout the year. Westben has now expanded into a single-campus arts centre, with four outdoor music venues, vast grounds replete with walking paths and native gardens, and a public-facing educational hub/administrative office space.

Organization Website Link: https://www.westben.ca/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/westbenconcerts?pnref=lhc
Twitter https://twitter.com/WestbenCentre

Project Name: Westben 25: Celebrating the Garden
Project Description:

This application is for “Westben 25: Celebrating the Garden”, taking place June 12 to August 4, 2024, at the Westben Centre for Connection and Creativity in rural Trent Hills. “Celebrating the Garden” celebrates Westben’s 25th anniversary season with 25 live presentations and an array of innovative community engagement initiatives, supported by comprehensive outreach and marketing strategies. The 2024 Festival will feature a range of artistic presentations including an array of genres from classical to jazz, folk, comedy, dance, and film, presented across four outdoor venues (The Barn – capacity 400, a campfire venue with a 50-person capacity, and the 500-person capacity Willow Hill amphitheatre) as well as the neighbouring Mary West Nature Conservancy bordering Westben. Both professional and emerging artists will be represented, with over 65% from equity-deserving communities. Westben will also welcome creative leads from neighbouring First Nations (Alderville, Curve Lake) to curate and design programming that highlights local Indigenous artistry. Programming will include:

(1) “The Garden”: based on Oscar Wilde’s short story, “The Selfish Giant”, with Donna Bennett, Gabrielle Prata, and the Westben Festival Chorus & Youth Chorus. This original production is a collaboratively conceived, all-ages, community/professional show that explores themes of nature and inclusivity;

(2) “The Garden” Collaborations: Several projects will be initiated throughout the community in the months leading up to the presentation of the musical to explore its themes, e.g., sharing creative development with audiences (including Indigenous artists and musicians), a community garden, 3rd space gatherings to explore themes of the musical in poetry and song, a flower show, etc.;

(3) 25th Anniversary Concert (local & visiting guest artists tbc);

(4) 25th Anniversary concert series, featuring: Jeremy Dutcher, Sarah Slean, Holly Cole, Gerald Finley, The Good Lovelies, Colin Ainsworth & New Zealand String Quartet, Folk on the Hill (Jill Barber, Rose Cousins, Jenn Grant), Natural Balance (visitors from Alderville First Nation: Ansley Simpson, Dave Mowat, Koren Smoke, Smoke Trail Singers), Derek Edwards, Steven Page, Barnful of Broadway (Cait Wood, Adam Fisher, Kim Dafoe, Ian Simpson), Lauren Lafayette Brooks, Big Smoke Brass and Jade Eagleson;

(5) “Pre-Concert Chats”: informative conversations preceding specific concerts;

(6) “Nature Minutes,” Preceding all concerts, brief, colourful introductions to the nature and history surrounding Westben, including a detailed land acknowledgement and sustainability awareness;

(7) "Dare to Pair”: Multi-sensory experiences engage local chefs, wines and food, along with area storytellers, farmers and musicians in pre-concert experiences enlightening performances; and

(8) a short film festival (programming tbc).

City: Campbellford
Region: Southeastern Ontario
Start Date: 2024-06-12
End Date: 2024-08-04
Amount Funded: $35,000.00
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